What Car? says...
The original Kia Niro might not have looked particularly revolutionary – you might even argue that it looked a little humdrum – but it was one of the first SUVs to democratise electric power.
The Niro offered buyers a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and a pure electric car option, badged the e-Niro. That gave people the opportunity to own a family SUV with low – or even zero – emissions, which in turn meant lower fuel bills, the ability to run on electric power alone and, for company car drivers, a low tax rate.
As you’d expect from any modern self-respecting family SUV, the interior is stuffed with sustainably-sourced materials. The headlining, for example, is made of recycled wallpaper and the seats are trimmed with cloth derived from eucalyptus leaves.
Like the first-generation Niro, it's available as a hybrid, a PHEV and an electric car – now badged the Niro EV, but the PHEV and electric versions now have longer ranges. Over the next few pages, we’ll take you through the impact of these changes, while also investigating how the Niro compares with rivals.
We'll be concentrating on hybrid and PHEV versions here – you can read about the fully electric version in our Kia Niro EV review.
Don’t forget, once you’ve decided which new car is right for you, head to our free What Car? New Car Buying service to see how much you can save on a Niro and hundreds of other cars. It has lots of the best new family SUV deals.
The latest Kia Niro didn’t feature in our 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey. However, Kia came a respectable ninth out of 30 car makers in our overall brand rankings for cars up to five years old. That’s ahead of BMW, Volkswagen and Volvo, but behind Toyota and Mazda.Read more here
The Kia Niro is available as a fully electric car (the Kia e-Niro), a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and a hybrid so there should be a version that suits everyone, and it is potentially a very cheap company car choice. The PHEV and hybrid cars combine a 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine with an electric motor. As well as the e-Niro, the Kia range of electric cars includes the What Car? Car of the Year winning Kia EV6 and the Kia Soul EV.Read more here
Our pick is the 1.6 GDI hybrid powertrain, which delivers impressive efficiency, most notably in town, and adequate (if not blistering) pace that’s good enough for everyday use but unlikely to blow your socks off. We recommend trim level 3 for the best balance of kit and value. It adds a full leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, eight-way electrically adjustable heated front seats, wireless phone-charging, front parking sensors and a larger 10.25in infotainment screen with built in sat-nav. Read more here
Our view is that the 3 trim offers the best balance of essential kit and value for money. If you fancy more toys and nice touches then 4 adds a Harman Kardon stereo, panoramic roof, wireless phone-charging, a 360-degree parking camera, a blind-spot monitor and adaptive headlights. Those intent on packing their Sportage with kit could also consider the GT Line and GT Line S trims, although in our estimation they push the price too high for the benefits they offer. Read more here
Entry-level 2 trim has a functional 8.0in touchscreen, whereas 3 upwards gets a far more impressive 10.25in system with built-in sat-nav and Kia’s Connected services function, which provides latest traffic updates and speed camera warnings. The higher grade screen is extremely usable, if a bit short of visual flair. A DAB radio, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available as standard. Read more here
The Kia Niro has an adequate boot but it is notably smaller than that of rivals, including the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq and even – if you’re prepared to swap SUV looks for an estate – the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports. Space is not consistent, either: the electric e-Niro offers the biggest boot, followed by the hybrid. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model has the least space because the bigger battery is mounted under the boot floor, eating into the available space. Read more here
|RRP price range||£27,745 - £41,745|
|Number of trims (see all)||3|
|Number of engines (see all)||3|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||hybrid, electric|
|MPG range across all versions||282.5 - 64.2|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||7 years / 100000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£72 / £1,652|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£145 / £3,303|